By Richard Weitz (vol. 4, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
Foreign and defense policies did not figure prominently in the recent general election in Turkey. Most Turks seem satisfied with the more assertive role that their government has assumed in recent years, while Turkey’s weak opposition parties have yet to offer a coherent foreign policy alternative to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Still, Turkish leaders will not be able to escape foreign and defense issues given Turkey’s dependence on its foreign economic ties and its location as a “front-line” state bordering the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Balkans. The situation in Syria is the most sensitive one for Turkey, and it could notably disrupt Turkey’s otherwise harmonious relations with Iran. Another crucial question is how much pull NATO will exercise over Ankara’s foreign and defense policies.
By Ariel S. Gonzalez Levaggi (vol. 4, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
Never before have Turkey and Latin America been closer than they are at present. Latin America has become an indicator of the extension of Turkey’s capacity for global influence. The regular exchange of high level political visits, the increase of commerce and the slow but sustained advance of cultural relations lays the foundations of a political convergence. From a geopolitical standpoint, the most important emerging association is the one between Turkey and Brazil. The relation of the two rising powers is of significant relevance as they promote a multi-polar international order, and it will bestow accrued legitimacy on them at an international level. The re-elected government of the AKP has a great opportunity to further deepen Turkey’s relations with Latin America, generating opportunities for dialogue and participation on the international stage.
By Ely Karmon (vol. 4, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
Against the background of the fall of the autocratic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, the massive demonstrations in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain, the civil war in Libya and first civil disorders in Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, there is growing apprehension in the West and among secular and liberal circles in the Arab world the uprisings could result in the coming to power of Islamist movements.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 4, no. 8 of the Turkey Analyst)
Moscow’s decision to “suspend” its compliance with the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty since December 2007 now remains one of the few visible sources of tension in the otherwise significantly improved relationship between Turkey and Russia. Yet, like other NATO countries, Turkey has sought not to bury the CFE but to praise and revive it. Turkish officials are calling for further negotiations and mutual concessions in order to restore the treaty framework. Perhaps the most immediate concern behind Turkish unease at the potential demise of the CFE regime is that it could worsen tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
By Joshua Walker (vol. 4, no. 6 of the Turkey Analyst)
In stark contrast to its support for the protest movements in Egypt and Tunisia, Turkey has abstained from taking a principled, democratic stand in the case of Libya. Turkey has opposed the imposition of sanctions and military measures against the Libyan regime. The failure of the Turkish government to live up to the democratic ideals that purportedly guide its policy toward the Middle East reveals the limits of a foreign policy which seeks to balance ideals and “realism”. Ultimately, the effect of Turkey on regional dynamics will only be as strong as its ideals and principles.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.